15th & 16th of May
Maribor, Slovenia
Thursday, May 04, 2017

Chuck Goldman, Sky Ventures: »Data itself will become smart«

Chuck Goldman is a top-notch manager and co-creator of companies that are valued in millions, an investor, and the IOT Executive at Sky Ventures Group. He believes that the next big opportunity lies in the Voice User Interface technology and that the key ability for companies in the near future will be their ability to build a cross-platform voice capability that allows any customer to use their smartphones, computers, cars and homes to interact through voice. He also emphasized how quickly the amount of collected data increases and the opportunities and dangers that come along with the further development of IOT.

Mr. Goldman, you have extensive experience from the corporate world as well as from the world of startups – worlds that appear to be far apart. However, are there any similarities in their ways of doing things? What are the most important things corporations can learn from startups and vice-versa?

There are many similarities between the corporate world and startups, such as the need to create and sell products or services, create loyal customers, and attract and retain your best employees. One thing that startups have that most corporations don’t is an entrepreneurial culture – one that drives each person in the company to innovate, take chances, and think different (even Apple has lost much of that ability now that they are a huge company). Most large companies don’t empower their employees to think differently in order to solve problems or create new opportunity, and that is one of the best lessons corporations can learn from startups. 

You were also part of the team behind launching of the iPhone, with your other experience as founder and investor you have a deep understanding of innovations and trends. Can you please share with us what industry would you bet your money on for the next decade or so? 

My bet is on VUI – Voice User Interface. I believe that virtually every computer interaction will involve voice in the future and that companies will need to adopt a strategy for integrating voice into their technology stack at virtually every level – especially customer interaction. Amazon has Alexa, Microsoft has Cortana, Google has Now, and Apple has Siri. The key will be the ability for companies to build a cross-platform voice capability that allows any customer to use their smartphones, computers, cars and homes to interact through voice. 

The world is becoming increasingly mobile and moving into the direction of integrating various services, allowing us to perform complicated tasks and manage data on the go. What security concerns do you have regarding this and how can we overcome them?

I led a team out of Apple in 2009 to create a company called Apperian to help people “go mobile” – specifically through the smartphone – and the biggest lesson I learned was that people wanted to feel like their data and privacy were protected. An example is core location – each App must get permission from you before it can know where you are on the planet. We have made great progress since 2009 with mobile security with what's called MDM (Mobile Device Management) and MAM (Mobile Application Management). MDM manages device security with MAM manages app/data security. Both MDM and MAM have their shortcomings when it comes to security in that hackers can still intercept data from the cloud before it gets to your device, so the future of security will lie in advanced encryption that doesn’t slow things down and is transparent to the end user. Encryption will play a huge role in the future as both enterprises and consumers incorporate it into their daily lives.

Your work is closely connected to IOT - what are the biggest opportunities for Corporations/Startups in IoT that everyone's missing? 

IOT is the biggest technology movement since the Internet itself. IOT is beginning to touch all our lives with connected homes, cars, and wearables but the rest of the world is looking to leverage IOT across industries. Farming, Fisheries, Energy, Healthcare – virtually everything will have some sort of solution for connected data. Some of this data will be life-saving and transformative – others will be like the wasted Twitter accounts spewing information onto the web that no one ever sees. What people don’t realize is the amount of data is increasing quickly to over 50 Trillion by the year 2020 (see below). To keep up with IOT, new methods of dealing with older/expired data will need to be invented and deployed.

Since everything is becoming connected to the Internet, what do you think the final stage of connectedness will look like?

I believe that data will itself become smart. For example, just-in-time data will use things like your location, your mood, your bank account, and other things to provide you with information where and when you need it most. For example, salespeople will have just-in-time data delivered about the people they are about to meet with, the last purchase orders received, what mood people are in based on what they posted to Facebook that morning, etc. – all automatically – seconds before they need it. The power of real time data will most likely come at a cost to privacy so this is something that everyone needs to keep an eye on and take steps to proactively protect your data and privacy. 
Have you ever invested in a European startup? If yes, what convinced you to invest?

Yes, I invested in Databox, a company from here in Slovenia. The people are always the main reason I invest in companies – especially in the seed stage. Davorin and Vlada had a vision to build a mobile BI company and I immediately got a sense of their passion and talent so I invested my time and money into helping them expand and launch in the US. My ecosystems from Apple and Boston enable me to connect companies quickly to resources and often times their first customers and helping young companies is what I love to do. 


Chuck Goldman is a top-notch manager and co-creator of companies that are valued in millions. The Boston based investor is the IOT Executive at Sky Ventures Group, that specialises in investing in health technologies and innovations.

He was a Senior Director for Enterprise Professional Services at Apple, founder and CTO at Applied CD Technologies and Interactive Media Solutions and founder and CEO of Apperian. Based on his references the least we can say is he has a proven track record in building successful businesses, both in the startup environment and within multi-billion dollar organizations. 

He is considered an industry thought leader and growth driver in the areas of prosumer technology (person who consumes and produces media) and has built mobile and IOT strategies for many of the world’s top brands.

The interview about the future and the opportunities brought by Internet Of Things were made possible by ISKRATEL, PODIM Challenge blue-chip partner. 

Chuck Goldman will be a keynote speaker at this year's PODIM conference